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The Detroit Lions seem to be pairing down their options for the 2022 NFL draft, and as a result, the chances of a surprise seem remote by the day.
Still, that doesn’t stop folks from dreaming about the team making a wild move. Such was the case once again for Bleacher Report as they wind down on preparations for the draft. Once again, the Lions are being projected to make a bold move with a quarterback when the picks get going.
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Writer Gary Davenport keeps beating the drum for the Lions to pick a quarterback, and as he wrote, he believes that move will be one of the bold moves in the draft when all is said and done. In a piece, Davenport projected the Lions to pick Malik Willis and shock some folks due to the fact that Jared Goff “isn’t the long-term answer” for Detroit at the position.
Still, Davenport understands the risk attached. As he writes, “but for all Willis’ upside and potential, he’s also very much a “project” quarterback. This is the sort of pick that either makes general managers look like geniuses or gets them fired.”
Such risk might make Holmes shy away from a risky Willis pick in the end and help him lean safer. Still, many don’t see that happening when the draft kicks off, which would represent a major smokescreen having been pulled off.
Lions Hosted Willis in Late Pre-Draft Visit
No matter what happens, nobody can accuse the Lions of not doing their diligence on the quarterback class as a whole as well as Willis personally. Not only did the team get Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett into the mix with a late facility visit pre-draft, but they hosted Willis as well. Those players coming into the fold will no doubt begin to fan some of the flames for folks looking to believe the Lions will be selecting a quarterback early in the draft come next week.
In addition to getting Willis in for his late visit, the Lions also coached him during Senior Bowl week, and got a closer look at his pro day as well. Add it all up and it seems as if the team has done all the homework needed to make a confident decision when the time comes on Willis. They’ve coached him, met with him and watched him perform up close in a variety of fronts. With this in mind, whatever decision the team makes in the end should largely be seen as well-researched.
Lions’ Final Decision at Quarterback Will Come Down to Need
Whether Detroit takes a quarterback or not will boil down to Brad Holmes and how much he views the spot as a glaring hole on the roster. With Goff on the team and a solid bet to remain the starter, it doesn’t seem as if the Lions will feel pressure to move on a quarterback in the draft they are not completely in love with. Goff could be a more solid option for next season and the longer term as well, given a rookie would need time to prove his worth and learn the ropes in the NFL. With many glaring defensive holes, the Lions may not evaluate quarterback as such a dramatic hole as many analysts do.
Some, like Davenport, have the Lions shaking up the draft with a big move for a quarterback. As farfetched as it seems, it’s still a possibility many are considering as the evaluation period shifts gears and moves into the home stretch.